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CTaft
02-28-2008, 01:15 AM
Here's a strange one. Two days ago sent an e-query, synopsis, and first two chapters of my thriller to a top agency. Today received reply from agency head honcho: "Yes, I'd like to see your proposal re. title of my manuscript" as the subject line of the e-mail with nothing in the body. Do I now send him the complete manuscript? Did he accidently respond to me about a non-fiction query? Don't want to get hopes up prematurely, but hard not to, as he's one of my dream agents.

BlueLucario
02-28-2008, 01:16 AM
Reply and take your chances :)

Mr Flibble
02-28-2008, 01:18 AM
Reply with your MS, but mention there was nothing in the body of the e-mail, so if that's not what he wanted, he knows why...

Will Lavender
02-28-2008, 01:19 AM
"Proposal" is a term that's used in fiction as well.

Here's a link that talks about what to put in one:

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2007/12/how-do-you-write-book-proposal.html

Best of luck to you.

Gillhoughly
02-28-2008, 04:08 AM
He said he wanted to see your proposal.

That means send the proposal, not the manuscript. If he'd wanted the MS, he'd have used that word. Two days is a strangely short turnaround time unless yours was a specifically requested query. Two months is considered a short wait for such things.

I'm thinking he hit the Send button by mistake. Oops.

You reply to his e-mail with:

"I got your e-mail but there was nothing in the body of it. I sent my query, synopsis, & two chapters of title ___ on Feb __.

If this has gone missing, please let me know and I will re-send. Thank you, etc. "

If he's got enough caffeine in him he will clarify, or probably not reply at all, 'cause he'll be all blushy for hitting the wrong button.

The first time I sent something in the chief editor lost it three times before he managed to drop it into the correct pile on his desk.

DO NOT EVER SEND THE WHOLE MS unless the words "please send us your manuscript for __" appear.

Good luck!

CTaft
02-28-2008, 04:14 PM
Thanks, everybody, for the great suggestions. Will, I'm getting the proposal together, thanks for the link, keep your fingers crossed. Maybe I'll get to post something in "goals and accomplishments" soon.

hammerklavier
02-28-2008, 05:05 PM
Is making the author write the proposal the new trend in agenting?

Gillhoughly
02-28-2008, 05:50 PM
Is making the author write the proposal the new trend in agenting?

The writer IS supposed to do the proposal. That's how my agent does things. If I asked her to write the proposal for me she'd tell me to get off my lazy butt and do it myself, because it's my book, after all. I write the stuff; she sells it. It is a good symbiosis.

I've never heard of an agent writing proposals--tweaking, critiquing, yes--but only the writer knows what he wants to put into his book.

As it happens my agent's been nagging me to work up two proposals so she can start shopping them around to make us money. If her job was to write 'em, she'd have had 'em finished and making the rounds last November...when I was supposed to have turned them in.

Hint enough from my subconscious-- I'm off this board for a week and will be writing instead. Cheers, all. :D

hammerklavier
02-28-2008, 06:51 PM
The writer IS supposed to do the proposal. That's how my agent does things. If I asked her to write the proposal for me she'd tell me to get off my lazy butt and do it myself, because it's my book, after all. I write the stuff; she sells it. It is a good symbiosis.


Yes, but you already have an agent you agreed to represent you. That's not the case here.

IceCreamEmpress
02-28-2008, 08:12 PM
Yes, but you already have an agent you agreed to represent you. That's not the case here.

I'm not sure why you think this is odd. The agent wants to see more of the writer's writing. He/she wants to see it next in the form of a proposal rather than a more detailed synopsis or a larger section of the manuscript. It seems like a reasonable enough request, even if it's in a somewhat different order than some other agents might want it.

Gillhoughly
02-28-2008, 11:56 PM
Yes, but you already have an agent you agreed to represent you. That's not the case here.

True, but an agent is still not going to write any proposals, queries, or a shopping list for any writer, new or used.

I still think this agent just hit the Send button by accident.

More than once I've sent proposals, queries, stories, and whole books to my agent and forgot to attach the danged file. Last week she tried to e-mail me a contract and did the same forget schtick from her end. The usual reply is, "Er--what's missing from this picture?" then we gulp more caffeine and hope to get some work done.

Bloody hell. I forgot I was going to lay off AW for a week!

http://www.clipartreview.com/_gallery/_TN/r_470.gif
:walks off cussin' to self while thwaking back of head with a stack of index cards containing plot points:

johnzakour
02-29-2008, 12:01 AM
The writer IS supposed to do the proposal. That's how my agent does things. If I asked her to write the proposal for me she'd tell me to get off my lazy butt and do it myself, because it's my book, after all. I write the stuff; she sells it. It is a good symbiosis.



Yep, agents sell, writers write. It's a good solid formula.